The (sad) state of social media use in small business [Infographic]

Sure, we can all think of great examples of small businesses using social media to connect with customers in new and engaging ways using social media – I’ve blogged about some of them. But earlier this week I came across the infographic below from the good folks at Socialnomics about the feelings some small businesses have when it comes to the social frontier, and a few things jumped out at me:

1. Almost all of the respondents (88%) indicated that social media does or will have an impact on their business. Though small businesses seems to be aware of the impact, the majority (70%) of them will not be making additional investments in social media next year. So they seem to know what’s going on, but are unable, or unwilling, to leverage it.

2. Where’s Foursquare? Of the 63% who reported that they have a social media footprint, only 6% report report using Foursquare. This past year, Foursquare has been reporting booming growth, and they even have the Foursquare Merchant Platform that is designed specifically to help businesses create, track, and manage their customer outreach and rewards programs.

3. Why are you so LinkedIn? This one baffles me. Small businesses report that they use LinkedIn (48%) more than Twitter (37%) and Foursquare (6%) combined. After being baffled for a moment, I began to think through WHY small business are gravitating towards LinkenIn. Perhaps because it is comfortable, it is one of the most “traditional” forms of social media – it’s an online resume surrounded by professional conversations. They may be after some best practices as there are many B2B conversations and information sharing going on the LinkedIn blog and on-page discussion groups. But when you look further down on the infographic, you will notice that businesses report that the top three uses they have for social media are: brand awareness, lead generation, and customer service….not best practices. This could be an example of the actions of business not being in sync with their goals.

There are plenty of other interesting nuggets of information in this infographic, so take a look and feel free to share what really jumps out at you. I’d also be very interested in some more examples of good social media use in small businesses.


2 Comments to “The (sad) state of social media use in small business [Infographic]”

  1. Definitely agree about small business’ not utilizing the power of Social Media. Half of the battle for them is not knowing where to start, but at the same time a majority of the companies are ignorant as it “just isn’t for them”.

    I met a woman in my Intro to Social Media class who was in charge of a small business’ website. Their product was a type of dirt that you put into your mini compost bin, (the one that goes in the green boxes) and it got rid of the smell 100% and was very eco-friendly. Genius idea, as it could really hit home with all of those apartment and condo owners that are looking to compost but cannot stand the smell!

    Their problem? They don’t have time for it, as their farmers and have enough on their hands. I’m not sure about you, but I’d definitely save an extra hour a day to make an amazing profit.


  2. Absolutely, Rory. If the argument is framed as a missed opportunity cost it may gain some traction. They also need to understand that they don’t NEED to be using each and every social media tool, pick the one(s) that help you deliver on your business goals best, and go from there. One hour a day is all it takes….

    You may have already seen this video from socialnomics, but here it is again as it shares some great stats and examples of social media ROI –


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